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Bratsch

Bratsch / Rien dans les poches

Rien dans les poches

Bratsch has been enjoying something of a cult status in France, recently they played to full houses in Paris over a period of three weeks. In Germany too, their concert tours are also consolidating the reputation of this band, whose "rousing spirit is reminiscent of a gypsy wedding" (Süddeutsche Zeitung); the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung/FAZ speaks of "party intensity". On Rien dans les poches these "remarkable improvisers" (FAZ) give free rein to their passion for the music of Central Europe. With an ear to the East, another to the West, and an eye to the South, Bratsch continues on its journey through different musical cultures. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of these wily acoustics experts, Network made one of their long-standing dreams come true: Budapest, Cologne and Paris became the scenes of unique musical encounters in an exuberant atmosphere marked by harmony and intensity. During the studio recording sessions Bratsch were joined by the phe-nomenal "Gypsy Swing" guitarist and heir to Django Reinhardt, Angelo Debarre, the perceptive gadulka player Stanislav Petkov Panayotov (of the Bulgarian All Star Orchestra), Serge Rosenberg and Todor Vukmirovicz, two brass players from the Parisian gypsy/klezmer band "Luda Familia". Also included were the Iranian master drummer Keyvan Chemirani, and the Budapest ensemble Ando Drom with their wonderful singer Mitsou. Bratsch fans in Germany have collected one Pfennig coins which now adorn the CD sleeve, filling in for the O in poches ("rien dans les poches" = "nothing in your pockets"). Like their colleagues -- the gypsy musicians of the Balkans -- Bratsch are energised by their travels through time, regions and cultures, the inspiring fruits of which is a compelling and delightfully presented debate with the many facets of Central European music-making: Rembetiko meets the blues, Romanian dances come up against jazz, Eastern European traditions such as klezmer undergo a renaissance, as do the roots of "Jazz Manouche/Gypsy Swing", made world famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. Greek and Armenian songs, plus a chanson by Edith Piaf, are im-bued with soul. Thanks to their great sensitivity and subtle arrangements, Bratsch create a new acoustic music which they themselves call "dreamed music" or "imaginary folklore". In this way, they impel musical traditions characterised by improvisation into the next millennium, at the same time informing these traditions with new structures, sounds, and above all, a lively urban spirit.

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